Washington, DC – Today, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ), House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA), and Senate Foreign Relations Africa Subcommittee Chairman Chris Coons (D-DE) met with President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan in the U.S. Capitol.
Menendez, Royce, and Coons issued the following joint statement after the meeting:
“Nigeria is a vital partner for the United States and the ties between our people are close. We called on President Jonathan today to demonstrate leadership on those issues most central to his nation’s future stability and at the heart of our bilateral relationship: Ensuring his people are protected from Boko Haram’s brutality, supporting development in the most vulnerable communities in the north, advancing economic opportunity across Nigeria, and proceeding toward credible, peaceful elections.”
The meeting centered on international efforts to combat the growing threat of Boko Haram, the ruthless terrorist organization responsible for the tragic kidnapping of hundreds of young women and the deaths of thousands of innocents as they endeavor to destabilize the region and foment the spread of radical Islam.
The Chairmen noted their willingness to support intensified U.S.-Nigeria security cooperation as Nigeria increases its efforts to counter Boko Haram’s insurgency, addresses longstanding grievances and development challenges impacting communities in northern Nigeria, and improves the military’s record on human rights and accountability.
The Chairmen also stressed the importance of holding credible, peaceful 2015 national elections in Nigeria and noted that the United States is Nigeria’s partner in this effort. The Chairmen also discussed Nigeria’s role as the largest economy on the continent and the importance of a close bilateral commercial relationship.